Jussie Smollett, the former star of Empire, has recently sought treatment in a rehabilitation program, according to reports from RadarOnline.com. This development follows Smollett’s conviction and sentencing to 150 days in jail for fabricating a hate crime report in 2019. In the incident, Smollett falsely claimed that he was attacked by two individuals who were supporters of then-President Donald Trump. A representative from Smollett’s team confirmed that he is undergoing treatment in an outpatient program and acknowledged the actor’s challenging past years. The representative praised Smollett for his efforts in seeking help, highlighting the actor’s perseverance during this difficult time.
Smollett’s legal battle took a turn in mid-September when he and his lawyers appealed to the Illinois Appeals Court, arguing that his conviction should be overturned. The actor had been found guilty in 2021 for staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself, during which he alleged that he was physically assaulted and had a noose placed around his neck.
Initially, Smollett faced a 16-count indictment in March 2019. However, he reached an agreement with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, resulting in dropped charges in exchange for community service and a $10,000 bond. Following public outcry, a special prosecutor was appointed to the case in 2020. Smollett’s defense contended that his 2021 conviction violated his Fifth Amendment rights against double jeopardy. The special prosecutor countered this argument, stating that Smollett was never truly prosecuted for his 2019 case, emphasizing that the original release agreement allowed for re-charging him for the crimes.
Furthermore, Smollett’s legal team claimed that the special prosecutor did not provide essential evidence related to the Osundairo brothers, who alleged that Smollett had hired them for the staged attack. The outcome of Smollett’s appeal is pending, with a judge expected to deliver a ruling in the coming weeks. If the appeal is unsuccessful, Smollett will be required to serve the remaining days of his 150-day jail sentence, of which he has already served six days.
It remains unclear what specific issues led Smollett to seek rehabilitation. However, it is worth noting that drug use surfaced as a significant topic during his trial. The Osundairo brothers testified that they were Smollett’s drug dealers and had supplied him with illegal substances, shedding light on the actor’s struggles.